Fort Wayne Trails held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Covington Road trail today, at the northwest corner of Covington and West Hamilton Roads.
Officials participating included Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer, and representatives from Fort Wayne Trails, Aboite New Trails (the predecessor organization to Fort Wayne Trails), Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, and Allen County. All assisted with the ribbon cutting and to celebrate the completion of the 96th mile of trail in Allen County. Also participating were band members and students from Woodside Middle School.
Kent Castleman, Executive Director of Fort Wayne Trails described the completion of this project: "The City of Fort Wayne has been exceptionally successful turning trail dreams into reality, and we thank them for the opportunity to partner with them. Thanks also must go to the hardworking staff and volunteers of our predecessor organization, Aboite New Trails. Their vision and hard work were instrumental in making this project possible." Mr. Castleman applauded the generous donations by Vera Bradley and the Chapel. He also noted with gratitude the efforts by AEP, Century Link, and Aqua Indiana, who donated easements, and in some cases also relocated utility facilities so that the project could be completed.
"We continue to be encouraged by the interest and investment in trails in our community," said Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer. "The ongoing expansion of the trail system in Fort Wayne, Allen County, and northeast Indiana makes us a point of destination and a quality of life leader to attract individuals, families, and businesses."
The Covington Road Trail connects to the already extensive network of trails throughout the Fort Wayne area. Trail users can now travel via trail from West Hamilton Road to Headwaters Park (13.5 miles one-way), or even take a longer trip to Moser Park in New Haven (22 miles, one-way).
This new section is ¾ mile in length. The project included extensive right-of-way purchases, intensive engineering to construct the trail within the existing infrastructure, and a 200-foot long retaining wall. The total cost was $1,251,840.00. Fort Wayne Trails provided $211,241.00, and the City of Fort Wayne provided $100,000. The remaining costs were funded by federal funding administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation.